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Center of Excellence Women and Science

Family-Friendly Academia

What really makes scientific institutions such as universities and non-university research institutions family-friendly? What is the best way to reconcile studying or working as a scientist on campus with starting a family or taking on family responsibilities? And how can the scientific institutions dealing with this topic best learn from each other? CEWS structured a range of information on the topic of family-friendliness in academia for you ­– stakeholders from universities, non-university research institutions and science policy as well as scientists, students and interested parties.

This page is based on the former portal, which was shut down at the end of December 2018. The portal was developed in the projects “Effektiv!“ and “Connect”, which were funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research and led by CEWS.

Some linked pages and databases are only available in German. We suggest using browsers such as Chrome, which lets you change the language and translates webpages for you. That way, you can still make use of the German content of our databases on family service centers, equality law etc.


The portals Make it in Germany as well as Research in Germany provide general information regarding family-related issues in Germany.

Family Service Centers

In our Links@CEWS database, you can search for family service centers in higher education institutions and filter them according to Germany’s federal states (= “Bundesländer”), for example. To do so, enter the corresponding state in the search field.


Universities and research institutions have the opportunity to network on the topic of family-friendliness, e.g. as a member of the Netzwerk Familie in der Hochschule e.V. or the Dual Career Network Germany as well as within the network meetings of berufundfamilie.


Our literature database Lit@CEWS  contains current and relevant publications in German and English on the topic of family-friendly academia.

Equality Law

What regulations do the higher education laws and the equality laws of Germany’s federal states (= “Bundesländer”) contain on balancing academia and parenthood? Answers can be found in our database on equality law.


The TOTAL E-QUALITY label and the audit family-friendly university award scientific institutions for their family-friendliness.

CEWSwiki documents ongoing and completed research projects in the field of gender and academia in German-speaking countries. Here you can find projects on the topic of family-friendliness.

As part of the StaRQ portal, the online information system INKA provides a selection of quality-assured gender equality measures in higher education institutions. In the section “Work / life balance” you can find measures of the institutions for childcare, returning to work, dependent care, etc.